Continuous production of monoclonal rheumatoid factor by EBV-transformed lymphocytes

Nature. 1980 Oct 2;287(5781):443-5. doi: 10.1038/287443a0.


Human B lymphocytes are immortalized by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV, ref. 1). The virus can be used to establish lymphoblastoid cell lines that produce and actively secrete specific antibodies. The original method, which we have used for various antigens is based on selection of the specific surface antigen receptor-positive lymphocytes from the peripheral blood lymphocytes of a donor who was previously sensitized to the corresponding antigen. Furthermore, by cloning the polyclonal anti-NNP cell line we have produced human monoclonal antibodies for the first time in vitro. About 5-20 microgram ml-1 stably produced specific antibody is obtained in the supernatant of the cell lines. This approach can be used for the in vitro production of monoclonal human autoimmune antibodies by EBV-immortalized lymphocytes from patients with autoimmune diseases. We demonstrate the continuous production in vitro of a monoclonal IgM and anti-IgG antibody (rheumatoid factor, r.f.) by a lymphoblastoid cell line established from a patient with rheumatoid arthritis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cell Transformation, Viral*
  • Clone Cells / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M / biosynthesis
  • Isoelectric Point
  • Rheumatoid Factor / biosynthesis*


  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Rheumatoid Factor